The priest shortage that has driven many parish mergers in the past decade was not the strongest factor in this case, said Father Kenneth Augustine, pastor of Corpus Christi.
Leading one to expect the next sentence to provide the actual cause.
Many of the neighborhoods the parishes served became predominantly African-American, and none of the parishes had been able to maintain buildings and operate programs without drawing on reserves or taking on debt to cover deficits in recent years, he said.
Why does blacks moving into a neighborhood require closing Catholic churches? After all, some of these new neighbors might be looking for a church to join.
"We were pretty well convinced that we would probably have to end up doing another merger in a short time," said Father Mark Molling of Mary Queen of Martyrs, whose parish was the result of merging St. Stephen Martyr and Mother of Perpetual Help parishes in 2001.
"Here we are doing it again because our number of members has continued to dwindle. As a result, we thought that making this bigger step of four to one would make more sense and give the new parish a better chance of survival and potential growth."
In the same way that closing factories and firing employees are signs of how much GM and Ford have increased their potential market shares.